Its difficult to write about the political and ideological systems that promote and depend on unjust wage and labor regulations to stay alive in the (fast) fashion business; as consumers, we are implicated and ultimately catered to by these retailers that engage in these activities. Furthermore, we have to consider the way this particular industry panders to a (mostly) female-based sector, promoting the idea of empowering women through fashion while at the same time keeping an 80-90 female workforce in squalor through the use of subcontracted factories. But, widening the scope, beyond the (mostly nonexistent) dialogue between businesses and consumers, we must also realize that these systems are based and fostered by entire governments and countries that dont have goals beyond making a profit off our business and our slave labor. Is our exploitation then self-exploitation? Ultimately, who is to blame and what are the driving forces behind this cycle of violations? Before beginning, Id like to explain the current culture and systems at play to put this analysis in the right context. After spending a short time researching sweatshops, i want to highlight two important points: first, the current culture of unregulated (sweatshop) labor is a direct result of the change in structure within the industry from investing in in-house production and formal labor to investing.
Forever 21 2017 Black Friday sale 2017 Cyber Monday
And that button looks better than the button I didnt sew on, and its a lot sturdier, too, cause i sewed it, like, a hundred times, whereas the other one only has, like, three loops. Fowlers blouse isnt the only one thats fallen apart. Writing about Forever 21, a contributor to a college-fashion Web site last year skimmed over labor concerns in a single paragraph, then spent the rest of her post explaining how to choose the best-made items in the store. She recommended holding clothes up to the light to determine whether theyre see-through, and pulling gently on their seams to see if they unravel. Its a vivid illustration of one reason Forever 21 shoppers keep coming back: with clothes so cheap and flimsy, they need to return often to replenish their closets. Brown and black hands produce the clothing that sustains entire fashion retailers and houses without eng ever getting any representation within the brand, within any of the companies in terms of executive positions, and outside the brand, as in their marketing, commercial and advertising campaigns that. We anniversary are both the so-called untapped market (with entire divisions within companies attempting to find new ways to make us their customers) and the unwanted faces in advertising campaigns, the runways, the editorials and covers of magazines. Walking into clothing retailers and finding out that most of what is there is produced in Mexico, guatemala, nicaragua, el Salvador, honduras, bangladesh, vietnam, cambodia and other so-called developing regions has been the norm for the past few decades. . What a lot of consumers dont realize is that the low prices offered to customers at fast fashion retailers like h m, zara, forever21, macys etc. Are only possible if money is being saved on labor wages and production aka paying workers a couple of cents per hour and having 10-12 hour work days without overtime. Im talking, of course, about the sweatshop industry and practices that make fast, cheap fashion and clothing available to the global market and the way brown, indigenous and black hands are often bearing the burden and cost of this business model.
Social-media culture also might encourage young people to buy cheap clothes in bulk. A few years ago, reporters write began to note the proliferation of haul videos, in which shoppers, usually young women, unload their overstuffed plastic bags and lovingly display their purchases. Forever 21 has capitalized on the trend, sponsoring contests in which shoppers post their own haul videos. The winners receive gift cards to buy more clothes. A pair of sisters from Tennessee, elle and Blair Fowler, have become Internet celebrities through their haul videos on; they even had a tv crew follow them through a forever 21 store for a good Morning America segment on the phenomenon. A 2009 haul video by Blair Fowler, who goes by juicystar07 online, has been viewed on nearly two million times. Describing her favorite new top from Forever 21, fowler says: I had to sew a button back on it, cause the button fell off, and my mom taught me how to sew the button.
Forever 21 also doesnt supply clothing to universities. Activists tactics have changed, too: labor-rights groups today are essay more likely to collaborate with retailers rather than publicly denounce them. There are reasons for the lack of student labor activism besides the decline of unions. One of them might be economic. The late nineties—the height of the anti-sweatshop campaigns—marked the second half of the longest economic expansion in American history. Then came a decade marred by two recessions. Meanwhile, tuition and fees at public universities rose, as did student-loan debt. For financially burdened students, ethical-fashion retailers such as Zady, which Elizabeth Cline wrote about for, the new Yorker last year—and whose clothes business cost ten times as much as F21 Reds—may be out of reach.
But student activism over labor conditions is noticeably quieter than it used. One reason is the continued decline of organized labor, which has traditionally trained student labor activists and helped to fund their campaigns. In 1995, the year of the El Monte raid, nearly fifteen per cent of American workers were union members, according to the bureau of Labor Statistics; labor unions were instrumental in the founding of United Students Against Sweatshops, in 1998. By last year, only eleven per cent of American workers were union members. With fewer dues-paying participants, unions political influence has waned. (A much larger percentage supports unions in principle. A pew Research Center study last year found that about half of Americans have a favorable opinion of labor unions, though that figure has declined from more than sixty per cent in 2001.). Unlike gap and nike in the nineties, forever 21 doesnt use a prominent logo, so public shaming of people who wear its clothes would be difficult. It is privately held, so there are no public shareholders pressuring it, and it doesnt have a celebrity leader, like nike does with its co-founder Phil Knight, who might respond to personal appeals.
The tradition of anti-sweatshop activism is more than a century old, spurred by the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York, in which a hundred the and forty-six garment workers died, in part because owners had locked the stairwell doors. The latest incarnation peaked in the late nineties, following two incidents that received widespread media coverage. The first, in 1995, was the raid of an apartment building in El Monte, california, a suburb about twenty minutes from the new F21 Red store. There, more than seventy Thai workers were being held in quasi-slavery conditions, sewing clothes for well-known retailers. A year later, the talk-show host Kathie lee gifford cried on television after being confronted with evidence that children in Honduras were sewing her clothing line for Walmart.
At the time, college students pressured school administrators to support better treatment for the workers who made apparel with university logos; At Yale, georgetown, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, among others, students held rallies and sit-ins. The campaigns were credited with improving labor conditions, but some factories that pledged to improve their operations later closed, after the retailers that used them removed their business to locations in different countries, where the factories hadnt made such specific commitments. These days, labor-rights groups hopscotch around the globe, trying to keep up as brands shift their production from China to vietnam to bangladesh. Students still hold protests over working conditions in factories, sometimes successfully. In 2009, students at nearly a hundred universities protested Russell Athletics closure of a honduran factory in response to the unionization of workers. In response, russell agreed to rehire more than a thousand of the workers.
In a statement in 2012, forever 21 said it promptly responded to the departments subpoena with information that resulted in a full resolution of the matter under investigation. Last year, though, a federal court ordered Forever 21 to hand over documents. A forever 21 spokeswoman told me over e-mail that the company takes smaller profit margins on the merchandise in F21 Red stores, and passes on the savings to customers. She declined to comment on the labor-rights cases, but wrote, since 2007, forever 21 has developed a vendor Agreement, requiring that manufacturing facilities with which we do business adhere to the highest level of safety and human rights standards. Forever 21 requires factories to comply with local laws and to agree to policies that prohibit child and slave labor. Still, contractors frequently circumvent such codes.
Thats what happened last year in Bangladesh, where the rana Plaza building collapsed, killing more than eleven hundred workers, in the worst industrial accident in the history of the apparel industry. Goods marked for Forever 21 werent found in Rana Plazas rubble, but substandard conditions exist in many other factories, in Bangladesh and elsewhere. Unlike many of its competitors, forever 21 has not joined either the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety or the bangladesh Accord on Fire and building Safety, two retail groups that have vowed to improve factory conditions in the country. The forever 21 spokeswoman told me that a very small amount of the companys merchandise is produced in Bangladesh. As its moniker implies, forever 21 targets college students, who belong to the very age group of those who crusaded for higher pay and better working conditions at apparel factories in the nineteen-nineties. The grand opening of F21 Red, however, was marked not by picketers but by customers who lined up early for gift cards.
Forever 21 2017 Spring Campaign
Three years later, the parties settled the dispute. Forever 21 did not admit wrongdoing, and the company agreed to help activists improve the local garment business industry. A documentary about the workers fight against Forever 21, made. A., received an Emmy in 2008. Then, in 2012, the. Department of Labor uncovered minimum-wage and overtime violations in Los Angeles sewing factories, including at least one, the department said, where it found clothes made for Forever. Ruben Rosalez, a regional administrator for the department, said that investigators had discovered workers at dozens of contractors producing clothes for Forever 21 under sweatshop-like conditions since 2008. The labor department subpoenaed Forever 21 for records on workers wages and hours, then sued in federal court to get the company to comply.
You can find the same items in its regular stores and online, in the not so basic section. Yet, by gathering all the least-expensive items in one place, and by stocking them in such volume, f21 Red sets a new standard for how little shoppers can expect to pay to get dressed. It flouts the warnings about the hidden costs of disposable fashion—the waste of making clothes that might survive only a few washings, and the pressure on factories to suppress wages for garment workers. In 2001, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center sued Forever 21 on behalf of nineteen apparel workers in Los Angeles, where the retailer is headquartered. The suit alleged that the workers, employed by contractors for Forever 21, sewed, ironed, or packed clothing six days a week, up to twelve hours a day, earning much less than minimum wage. Workers also described factories infested with rats and cockroaches. The garment Worker Center, an advocacy group, organized a boycott of Forever 21 stores. Forever 21 responded that it couldnt be held responsible for contractors behavior. The company also sued the garment Worker Center and other groups for defamation, calling the public campaign vicious.
he gets sued. Chang and Forever 21 have started such uproar in the fashion world that a bill. Last month, the retailer Forever 21, known for producing trendy, ephemeral clothing for young women, opened a store outside los Angeles that surprised even some people familiar with the chains improbably low prices. The test store is called F21 Red. It has a slick, industrial floor and harsh overhead lighting that highlights prominent pricing signs. Jeans cost.80 ; tank tops are.80; camisoles are.80. Every tag looks like its missing a digit. This isnt the first time forever 21 has sold clothes so cheap.
Instead of making things right, forever 21 countersued the workers as well as the garment Workers Center, which helped the workers file suit for defamation, and with the defense that they shouldnt be responsible for their manufacturing plants working conditions. The company was smacked down when a judge ruled that Forever 21 was in fact responsible for the poor conditions list at its suppliers manufacturing plants. The company settled with workers for an undisclosed amount out of court. As of August 2011, forever 21 has been sued for copyright infringement over forty times, each time by a different designer. Like their claims against sweatshop abuse, the company says that their manufacturers copied designs are also not their fault. As Chang told a uk newspaper, gaurdian, i have in the past overly trusted people and was, in turn, let down by some. Since then I have learned the difference between putting faith into people and blindly trusting them.
How to get extra time on your essay
1388 Words may 13th, 2012 6 Pages. Too good to be true? Forever 21 and its Illegal and Immoral Policies After a recent shopping spree at Forever 21, the many hours spent perusing the rakes brought continuous amazement at the low prices found on the tags. How could clothes this trendy and fashionable possibly come at such a reasonable price? This question was quickly followed by an unsettling yet painfully obvious thought. To me, there was no other explanation as legs to how one of the worlds most popular clothing stores for young woman could provide such a marked down price to its customers. The stylish knockoffs became to me what they had always been, too good to be true. Upon returning from my long day of shopping, i decided to dig a bit deeper into this show more content (Wiseman).